By Roberto Bolaño
Uno de los 10 libros del año del
New York occasions booklet Review
Cuatro académicos tras los angeles pista de un enigmático escritor alemán; un periodista de Nueva York en su primer trabajo en México; un filósofo viudo; un detective de policía enamorado de una esquiva mujer —estos son algunos de los personajes arrastrados hasta l. a. ciudad fronteriza de Santa Teresa, donde en los angeles última década han desaparecido cientos de mujeres.
Publicada póstumamente, los angeles última novela de Roberto Bolaño no sólo es su mejor obra y una de las mejores del siglo XXI, sino uno de esos excepcionales libros que trascienden a su autor y a su época para formar parte de l. a. literatura common.
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PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA For Dorothy Nicholl, and in memory of Donald, with love and with gratitude Arabic Words and Phrases abayya a robe worn over a long skirt or loose trousers and shirt afreet a demon or troublesome imp agahl a heavy ropelike wrap that holds the kuffiyah on the head aleikum es-salaam a greeting (response to salaam aleikum) bakshish a payment, tip, bribe, or donation burkah a concealing woman’s garment effendi an honorary address fellah/fellahin peasant, countryman firengi a foreigner, a “Frank” Ghor the low-lying Jordan River valley imam Muslim religious leader insh’allah a saying: if it is God’s will kuffiyah a loose headcloth laban a drink of sour milk or diluted yogurt maalesh a saying: oh, well… muezzin the man who calls the faithful to prayer from a mosque mukhtar headman of a village mullah a Muslim religious leader narghile a water pipe saj curved sheet of steel used to cook flat bread over a fire salaam aleikum a greeting: peace be with you sitt Mrs, Madam souk or suq bazaar wadi water-cut valley, often dry but for sudden floods wallah!
After a couple of minutes, Mahmoud rose. “We cannot bury him,” he repeated. “I agree,” said Holmes. “It would raise an even worse uproar than this would. But given an hour or two, we could transform murder into an unfortunate accident. ” Mahmoud reached up to rub at his beard, and his fingertips travelled briefly down the scar. He nodded thoughtfully. ’ Yes. Better for all. ” “It might also be best to remove your possessions from the vicinity. ” I could see where this was going, but truth to tell, I had no wish to assist in the doctoring of the site.
Holmes made no further effort to dodge the question, although the answer was a thing of unvarnished humiliation. “We were in danger of losing our lives in London, and needed to get away for some weeks in order to gain the upper hand on our return. ” Ali said with incredulity. “Absolutely not,” Holmes snapped, his voice suddenly cold. “You are an old man and she is a girl,” Ali retorted. ” “I speak the tongue as one who was born to the black tents of the Howeitat Bedu,” said Holmes in an Arabic that was apparently as flawless as he imagined it, for Ali looked at him in surprise and even Mahmoud cocked an eyebrow.